Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Utah’s commission for the Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration has announced that Gold Mountain, the original musical by Jason Ma, will be presented as one of the cultural events commemorating the landmark anniversary. Alan Muraoka will direct three evenings of staged concert presentations, performed by a New York cast of Asian American actors,  including Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera) as Mei, Jonny Lee Jr. as Lit, Alan Ariano (The King and I) as Ba, Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes) as Jiang, Lawrence-Michael Arias as Wong, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Loong, and Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures) as Lo.

GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Music direction will be provided by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. Production will be spearheaded by Spike 150 in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, 2019, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and a matinee on Saturday, May 11, curtain time TBD.

About Gold Mountain:
Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self- sacrifice.

The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York on October 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters, and internationally. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific & Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center-AD). Television: “Sesame Street,” Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, Mail, Shogun, the Musical, My Favorite Year, The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: One of the most iconic and life-altering events in America’s history – the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad – happened in Utah on May 10, 1869. Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission, established by the Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert and organized to partner with all those celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Utah. Through a series of activities and events, the Spike 150 initiative aims to inspire, educate, and reflect on the Transcontinental Railroad legacy as it unifies Utahns to see that great things are possible with vision, hard-work, dedication, and collaboration. There are events planned all across the state so people can celebrate in 150 ways. The festivities will culminate in a celebration at Promontory Summit on May 10, 2019. For a full list of Spike 150 events, visit www.spike150.org.

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans. Please visit: www.goldenspike150.org

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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In the Dressing Room with PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt; Ends Run on November 17

Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt ends her history making run in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera  on Saturday evening, November 17, having played more than 600 performances. Ms. Ewoldt became the first Asian-American actress to assume the role of Christine, the innocent young soprano who becomes the object of The Phantom’s obsession, in June 2016.

Ben Crawford, Ali Ewoldt, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits. Photo by Elizabeth Welch
Ben Crawford, Ali Ewoldt, Lia Chang and Garth Kravits. Photo by Elizabeth Welch

I had the opportunity to photograph the luminous star in her dressing room over the summer and witnessed her enchanting performance last week. Below is my backstage pass with Ali.

Ali made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Continuing in their starring roles are Ben Crawford as The Phantom and Jay Armstrong Johnson as Raoul, with co-stars Laird Mackintosh as Monsieur André, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Raquel Suarez Groen as Carlotta, Maree Johnson as Madame Giry and Carlton Moe as Piangi.

Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Phantom of the Opera has been the largest single generator of income and jobs in Broadway and U.S. theatrical history, including employing more than 400 actors during its 30-year Broadway run.

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Phantom of the Opera is produced by Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group, has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is directed by Harold Prince. Lyrics are by Charles Hart with additional lyrics by Richard Stilgoe and the book is by Richard Stilgoe and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Musical staging and choreography is by the late Gillian Lynne. The Phantom of the Opera has production design by the late Maria Björnson, lighting by Andrew Bridge and sound by Mick Potter with original sound by Martin Levan. Musical supervision and direction is by David Caddick and orchestrations are by David Cullen and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Ali Ewoldt in the costume room with her final costume of the show. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in the costume room with her final costume of the show. Photo by Lia Chang

The performance schedule for The Phantom of the Opera is Monday evenings at 8, Tuesday evenings at 7, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8, with matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2. Ticket prices range from $29 – $155 with Premium Tickets also available. To order tickets, visit www.Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200. A daily digital lottery with $40 tickets for all performances is available by visiting www.PhantomBroadwayLottery.com.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Brian D. Coats, Elain Graham, Charlie Hudson III and Blake Morris in KING HEDLEY II at Two River Theater through December 16 

Charlie Hudson III (Mister) and Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon) in August Wilson's King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Two River Theater (Artistic Director John Dias, Managing Director Michael Hurst) presents August Wilson’s King Hedley II, directed by Brandon J. Dirden. The extended five-week run opens tonight at 7pm and continues through Sunday, December 16 in Two River’s Marion Huber Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org.

This production marks the halfway point in Two River Theater’s commitment to present all 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle. For the first time, the theater will be presenting one of Wilson’s plays in its intimate 110-seat Marion Huber Theater.

The cast of King Hedley II includes Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya), Harvy Blanks (Elmore), Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon), Elain Graham(Ruby), Charlie Hudson III (Mister), and Blake Morris (King Hedley II).

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Kay Richardson, and hair & wig designer Erin Hicks. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson.

Elain Graham (Ruby) in August Wilson's King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Elain Graham (Ruby) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Charlie Hudson III (Mister) and Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon) in August Wilson's King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Charlie Hudson III (Mister) and Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
 Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
 Blake Morris (King Hedley II) in August Wilson's King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Blake Morris (King Hedley II) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
 Blake Morris (King Hedley II) and Harvy Blanks (Elmore) in August Wilson's King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Blake Morris (King Hedley II) and Harvy Blanks (Elmore) in August Wilson’s King Hedley II at Two River Theater. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Celebrate HADESTOWN Opening Night at National Theatre

Musical Director and Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Hadestown Opening night curtain. Photo by Lia Chang
Hadestown Opening night curtain. Photo by Lia Chang

On Tuesday night, HADESTOWN opened in the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London.

André De Shields and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

The production stars Reeve Carney (Orpheus), André De Shields (Hermes), Amber Gray (Persephone), Eva Noblezada (Eurydice) and Patrick Page (Hades). The cast also features Sharif Afifi (Worker), Rosie Fletcher (Lachesis), Beth Hinton-Lever (Worker), Carly Mercedes Dyer (Atropos), Seyi Omooba (Worker), Gloria Onitiri (Clotho), Aiesha Pease (Worker), Joseph Prouse (Worker), Jordan Shaw (Worker) and Shaq Taylor (Worker).

The Fates: Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo by Lia Chang
The Fates: Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Hadestown Opening night curtain. Photo by Lia Chang
Hadestown Opening night curtain. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.

Musical Director and Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Musical Director and Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen. Photo by Lia Chang

Produced in association with Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold and Tom Kirdahy.

HADESTOWN is at the National Theatre until 26 January and tickets start at £15. Click here for tickets.

Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and Rachel Quinney, National Theatre's producer for HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and Rachel Quinney, National Theatre’s producer for HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Paige Davis and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Paige Davis and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
The Ensemble: Jordan Shaw, Aiesha Pease, Beth Hinton-Lever, Shaq Taylor Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Sharif Afifi. Photo by Lia Chang
The Ensemble: Jordan Shaw, Aiesha Pease, Beth Hinton-Lever, Shaq Taylor Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Sharif Afifi. Photo by Lia Chang
Jordan Shaw, Aiesha Pease,Beth Hinton-Lever, Shaq Taylor, Choreographer David Neumann, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Sharif Afifi. Photo by Lia Chang
Jordan Shaw, Aiesha Pease, Beth Hinton-Lever, Shaq Taylor, Choreographer David Neumann, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Sharif Afifi. Photo by Lia Chang

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and more Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13 

Lia Chang and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Reeve Carney

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Production Photos: Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More in HADESTOWN at National Theatre

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Following record-breaking runs at New York Theatre Workshop and Canada’s Citadel Theatre, Hadestown opens at the National Theatre on November 13.

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

André De Shields as Hermes and the company in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes and the company in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

The cast includes Sharif Afifi, Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Rosie Fletcher, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Eva Noblezada, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Patrick Page, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.

André De Shields as Hermes and Patrick Page as Hades in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes and Patrick Page as Hades in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorneyand Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.

Eva Noblezada. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Carly Mercedes Dyer, Gloria Onitiri, Rosie Fletcher. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray and Nathaniel Cross. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Amber Gray and Nathaniel Cross. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13

André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

Daily Mail columnist Baz Bamigboye writes,  “Andre De Shields is appearing in the musical Hadestown, which is previewing at the National Theatre.

André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Anais Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields is a living, walking landmark. I’ve been watching him in shows in New York, and here, for most of my professional life.

In Hadestown he strolls onto the Olivier stage, says hello to the cast, and checks in with the band. The meet and greet lasts a sublime five minutes.

I could have left the theatre right there and then and been content, and happy.”

André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown is currently playing to enthusiastic preview audiences and Press night is set for Tuesday, November 13 at 7pm. After the sold-out Saturday evening performance, Hadestown cast members and creative team joined New York Theater Workshop sponsors for a post-show reception in the Ashcroft Room at the National Theatre.

The cast and creative team of HADESTOWN with New York Theater Workshop sponsors. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast and creative team of HADESTOWN with New York Theater Workshop sponsors. Photo by Lia Chang

Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Rachel Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers can’t survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

Cast members Jordan Shaw, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Eva Noblezada, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Reeve Carney, Sharif Afifi, Josie Richardson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Cast members Jordan Shaw, Joseph Prouse, Seyi Omooba, Eva Noblezada, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Amber Gray, Beth Hinton-Lever, Reeve Carney, Sharif Afifi, Josie Richardson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast stars Reeve Carney as Orpheus, Eva Noblezada as Eurydice, André De Shields as Hermes, Amber Gray as Persephone and Patrick Page as Hades. The cast also includes Sharif Afifi, Rosie Fletcher, Beth Hinton-Lever, Carly Mercedes Dyer, Seyi Omooba, Gloria Onitiri, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw and Shaq Taylor.

André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Director Rachel Chavkin and Music Director, Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson and Set Designer Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Rachel Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg.

Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Liam Robinson
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Liam Robinson
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo Star in the Ma-Yi and Barrington Stage Co-Production of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at The Beckett through November 18

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Lloyd Suh’s new play The Chinese Lady, a co-production between Ma-Yi Theater Company and Barrington Stage Company (BSC), is currently in previews at The Beckett on Theatre Row and will play a limited run through November 18, 2018. Opening night is set for November 10 at 7:30pm. The two-hander stars Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung”.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery) and directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company).  Click here for more information and tickets. 20% Discounts at Today Tix and limited Rush tickets are $22.25 one hour prior to showtime at Theatre Row box office.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chinese Lady received three 2018 Berkshire Theatre Critics Award nominations including Outstanding New Play for Lloyd Suh, Best Supporting Actor for Daniel K. Isaac and Best Sound Design for Fabian Obispo.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Lloyd Suh. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY 

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Shannon Tyo, Lia Chang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo, Lia Chang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN to be Presented in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

Utah’s commission for the Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration has announced that Gold Mountain, the original musical by Jason Ma, will be presented as one of the cultural events commemorating the landmark anniversary. Alan Muraoka will direct three evenings of staged concert presentations, performed by a New York cast of Asian American actors,  including Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera) as Mei, Jonny Lee Jr. as Lit, Alan Ariano (The King and I) as Ba, Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes) as Jiang, Lawrence-Michael Arias as Wong, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Loong, and Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures) as Lo.

Music direction will be provided by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. Production will be spearheaded by Spike 150 in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, 2019, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and a matinee on Saturday, May 11, curtain time TBD.

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self- sacrifice.

The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York on October 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters, and internationally. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific & Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center-AD). Television: “Sesame Street,” Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, Mail, Shogun, the Musical, My Favorite Year, The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: One of the most iconic and life-altering events in America’s history – the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad – happened in Utah on May 10, 1869. Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission, established by the Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert and organized to partner with all those celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Utah. Through a series of activities and events, the Spike 150 initiative aims to inspire, educate, and reflect on the Transcontinental Railroad legacy as it unifies Utahns to see that great things are possible with vision, hard-work, dedication, and collaboration. There are events planned all across the state so people can celebrate in 150 ways. The festivities will culminate in a celebration at Promontory Summit on May 10, 2019. For a full list of Spike 150 events, visit www.spike150.org.

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans. Please visit: www.goldenspike150.org

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Brandon J. Dirden to Helm August Wilson’s KING HEDLEY II Featuring Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Brian D. Coats, Elain Graham, Charlie Hudson III and Blake Morris at Two River Theater, November 10 -December 16 

Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon J. Dirden
Photo by Lia Chang

Marking the halfway point in its commitment to present all 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, Two River Theater is presenting Wilson’s “exhilarating” (The New York Times) and incendiary drama King Hedley II, directed by Brandon J. Dirden. For the first time, the theater will be presenting one of Wilson’s plays in its intimate 110-seat Marion Huber Theater, with performances beginning on November 10 and continuing for an extended five-week run through Sunday, December 16. The opening night performance is Friday, November 16 at 7pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The production sponsors are Monmouth University and Collex Collision Experts.

August Wilson is the 10th most produced playwright of the current season in the United States, according to American Theater magazine. Two River’s staging of King Hedley II is currently the only production of this rarely seen play happening anywhere in the world.

The year is 1985 and Pittsburgh’s Hill District has been ravaged by violence, unemployment, and Urban Blight. King Hedley II returns to his home after a seven-year prison term looking to re-build his life, save some money, and start a family. However, both he and those around him quickly find that in 1980s America, the rules have changed.

Brandon J. Dirden-the award-winning actor/director who has appeared in five Two River productions, including, most recently, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and A Raisin in the Sun-directs this sequel to Seven Guitars, which was produced under his direction at Two River in 2015. King Hedley II picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set in the 1940s.

The cast of King Hedley II includes Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya), Harvy Blanks (Elmore), Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon), Elain Graham (Ruby), Charlie Hudson III (Mister), and Blake Morris (King Hedley II).

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Kay Richardson, and wigs designer Erin Hicks. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson.

Says Artistic Director John Dias, “Over the past decade, Two River Theater has made a commitment to producing plays that deal with issues of race, social justice, and our shared history. These include four plays from August Wilson’s majestic American Century Cycle: Jitney, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. With each production, the artists who work here-and the audiences who are coming here to see these plays-are engaged in emotional and complex conversations about race. We believe that, as a theater, we have a unique opportunity to contribute to this evolving civic discourse.”

Ticket prices range from $40 to $80, with discounts available for groups, seniors, and U.S. military personnel, their families, and veterans. A limited number of $20 tickets are available for every performance; $20 tickets may be partial view. Tickets for patrons under 30 are $20 and include the best available seats at every performance. Tickets are available from tworivertheater.org or 732.345.1400.

Inside Two River is a series of events specially curated for each Two River Theater production. For more information or to reserve a free spot, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

Book Club: Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Monday, November 26 at 6:30pm in the Victoria Mastrobuono Library
Ta-Nehisi Coates pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son in this Pulitzer Prize finalist and #1 New York Times bestseller from 2015. The journalist, thinker, and writer offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crises all the while trying to convey and interrogate what it is like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it. Coates works to untangle these difficult questions by writing a letter to his adolescent son. In connection with King Hedley II, Literary Manager Taylor Barfield will discuss how a broader socio-political history can be explored through the lens of familial bonds and personal stories.

First Monday Masters is series of master classes led by artists affiliated with Two River Theater’s recent productions and current season. Classes take place in locations throughout the Two River Theater arts complex, on Monday evenings from 6pm-8pm. To reserve a spot, patrons should visit tworivertheater.org or call 732.345.1400.

November 5: Costume Design with Karen Perry

For adults and high school students, limited to 16 participants, 6-8:00pm, $40 per person

King Hedley II costume designer Karen Perry previously designed August Wilson’s Jitney, Two Trains Running and Seven Guitars at Two River Theater, as well as Lives of Reason, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest Room, Third and Trouble in Mind. This season, she will also design Oo-Bla-Dee. She has also designed costumes for Encores!, Dallas Theater Center, Second Stage, Signature Theatre, Goodman, and The Public Theater, among others. Karen will walk the class through the costume design process from the page to the stage by discussing her work on new musicals and classic plays. This workshop will take place in Two River Theater’s Costume Shop.

Before Play and Lobby Display

Audiences will learn about August Wilson and King Hedley II in Two River’s Before Play lecture series, which takes place 45 minutes prior to every performance, and Lobby Display.

Post-Play Conversations

Discussions with the cast and a member of Two River’s Artistic staff will take place on Wednesday, November 21 at 1pm; Sunday, November 25 at 3pm; and Wednesday, November 28 at 7pm.

Working with Google, Two River has created and launched a virtual tour of its facility, which lives on Google Maps and tworivertheater.org. This virtual tour provides an additional level of support and benefit for patrons who use wheelchairs or require other assistance by allowing them to virtually come through the theater’s front doors and view the space in detail in advance of their visit.

An audio-described performance is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5 at 1pm, and an open-captioned performance is scheduled for Saturday, December 8 at 3pm. Tickets are available at a discounted rate of $25 for patrons using these services. To reserve wheelchair-accessible seating or tickets to a performance listed above, patrons should call 732.345.1400 or e-mail boxoffice@trtc.org.

Artists

BRITTANY BELLIZEARE
BRITTANY BELLIZEARE

Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya) previously appeared at Two River Theater as Ruby in Seven Guitars and is happy to return to work on yet another August Wilson masterpiece. New York credits include an interactive play, In the Blue Hour (Emily) at La Maison d’Art Gallery in Harlem, and A Raisin in the Sun (Beneatha) at The Gallery Players. Regional: Portland Center Stage (Oregon) JAW Festival: three girls never learnt the way home (Edith); Baltimore Center Stage: Skeleton Crew (Shanita); The Guthrie: The Bluest Eye (Pecola); TheaterWorks Hartford: Sunset Baby (Nina); La Jolla/Berkeley Rep: The Last Tiger in Haiti (Rose); Northern Stage: The Mountaintop(Camae); the Yard: Archy & Mehitabel (Ensemble) Educational Tour: McCarter: Sunjata Kamalenya (Player 3). Film/TV: The BlacklistEye CandyThe Knick. Education: MFA: The New School for Drama; BS: Spelman College. NAACP Theatre for Best Ensemble nomination for The Last Tiger in Haiti(2017/18). brittanybellizeare.com

HARVY BLANKS
HARVY BLANKS

Harvy Blanks (Elmore) appeared on Broadway as Shealy in the Tony-winning production of Jitney. Off-Broadway, he received the Drama Desk Award for his performance in Tabletop. Other Off-Broadway credits include First Breeze of Summerand The Guest at Central Park West. His regional appearances include Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow (Williamstown), Familiar (Yale Rep, The Guthrie and Seattle Rep) and Fire on the Mountain _(TheatreWorks Palo Alto). At the Denver Center he starred in _RuinedFencesJoe Turner’s Come and GoneGem of the OceanSeven Guitars _and _Radio Golf, among others. Harvy can be seen this season in Terrence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness (HBO). His other television appearances include Preacher _and _Crime Story. He is very happy to return to Two River where he appeared in JitneyTwo Trains Running and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

BRIAN D. COATS
BRIAN D. COATS

Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon) Broadway: Jitney. He was previously seen at Two River Theater in Seven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Off-Broadway includes: Travisville (Ensemble Studio Theatre), La Ruta (Working Theater), The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem/The Apollo), On the Levee (Lincoln Center), The Merry Wives of WindsorTwo Gentlemen of Verona (Public/ NYSF). Regional: The Royale (Cleveland Play House), The Nest (Denver Center Theatre), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre, Studio Theatre DC), FencesA Raisin in the Sun(Geva Theatre), Distant Fires (People’s Light and Theatre), Clybourne Park (Caldwell Theatre), The Wedding Giftpen/man/ship (Contemporary American Theatre Fest), Count (PlayMakers Rep). TV includes: Law & OrderLaw & Order: SVUJAGBlue BloodsThe SopranosBoardwalk EmpireLuke Cage, and The Blacklist.

CHARLIE HUDSON III
CHARLIE HUDSON III

Charlie Hudson III (Mister) is thrilled to be appearing again at Two River, where he was previously seen in A Raisin in the Sun and Seven Guitars . Previous shows include Detroit ’67 (Playmakers Rep); The Mountaintop (Northern Stage); Father Comes Home from the Wars (American Repertory Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun(Barrymore Theatre, Broadway);The Raisin Cycle: Clybourne Park & Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Centerstage);Hurt Village (Signature); Fences (Virginia Stage); The Piano Lesson (Yale Rep); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); White Women Street (Irish Rep); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Portland Stage); Fly (Crossroads and Vineyard Playhouse); ARaisin in the Sun,Richard IIIA Christmas Carol* , All the King’s Men *,*  Cyrano de Bergerac (Trinity Rep); Hillary (New Georges); Old Comedy (Classic Stage); Mother Courage (Public Theater/NYSF); Sweet Bird of Youth (Williamstown); Romeo and Juliet (Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble); Julius Caesar* , Topdog/Underdog(Brown/ Trinity Consortium). TV includes: ManifestThe Night OfShades of BluesThe Good FightUnforgettableForever,The Rosa Parks Story, and A Raisin in the Sun “Revisited.” Film credits include Roxanne RoxanneComplete UnknownTwelveNewlyweedsLillian; and his voice is featured in the McGraw-Hill’s PodClass GRE Vocabulary Study Guide. Mr. Hudson is the 2003 KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Best Actor Award winner (Region IV) and is a graduate of Alabama State University and the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium. Charlie would like to thank God for this opportunity and his loving family for their support.

BLAKE MORRIS
BLAKE MORRIS

Blake Morris (King Hedley II) Off-Broadway: Ain’t No Mo’ (The Public Studio), Kings of Harlem (New Horizon Theater). Festivals: New Black Fest, 48 Hrs. in Harlem, NYSAF Reading Series. TV: Pose (FX), Jessica Jones (Netflix).

ELAIN GRAHAM
ELAIN GRAHAM

Elain Graham (Ruby) i s pleased to be back at Two River Theater, where she was seen as Mrs. Dickson in the critically acclaimed production of Intimate Apparel. Other stage credits include: Intimate Apparel, Dorset Theatre Festival; Dolores, While I Yet Live, Primary Stages; The Picture Box, Negro Ensemble Company; Mum in SoHo Rep’s critically acclaimed Born Bad; The Woman in Lynn Nottage’s Banana Beer Bath, Going to the River Festival/EST; Lena Younger, A Raisin in the Sun, Virginia Stage Company; Permanent Collection, Baltimore Center Stage; Mama Benin, Playboy of the West Indies, Lincoln Center. Film/Television: The Last O.G.The BreaksThe DetourLaw & Order: SVULaw & Order666 Park AvenueSmashUnforgettableAcross the UniverseCity TeacherArthur!: A Celebration of LifeThe JuryMessengers100 Centre StreetOzThird WatchTurn It Up. She was also Etta Mae Burrell on the daytime soap opera, Another World.

August Wilson (April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II,and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans in North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century, forming the complication entitled The American Century Cycle. His plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country and all over the world. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned, _currently touring and featuring Eugene Lee reprising Mr. Wilson’s role. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for _Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson _(1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for _Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Jitney. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, and the 2003 Heinz Award. He was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street—The August Wilson Theatre. Today, his plays continue to be produced, and his place in the American Theater continues to grow. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in The American Century Cycle at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled, The Ground on Which I Stand, as part of the American Masters series. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate.

Brandon J. Dirden (Director) made his directing debut at Two River Theater with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. He has appeared at Two River in A Raisin in the Sun; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Jitney; the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine; and Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. An award-winning actor/director, he is best known for portraying Agent Dennis Aderholt in the acclaimed FX series The Americans. ?A Morehouse College and University of Illinois graduate, he is also known for appearing on Broadway as Martin Luther King Jr. in the successful Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon B. Johnson. Other Broadway credits include August Wilson’s Jitney (2017 Tony Award for Best Revival), Prelude to a Kiss, Enron and Clybourne Park. In 2012 he was awarded an Obie and a Theatre World Award and was nominated for Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards for his portrayal of Boy Willie in the Signature Theatre Company revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. ?He has guest starred in TV series such as The Good WifeThe Big CBlue BloodsPublic MoralsBraindead andBaz Luhrmann’s The Get Down on Netflix. Brandon is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and currently lives in West Orange, NJ with their four-year-old son, Chase.

Michael Carnahan (Scenic Designer) previously designed The Ballad of Little JoYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like MineThirdOn Borrowed Time, and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars _and _Two Trains Running at Two River. Off-Broadway—Atlantic Theater Company: Skeleton Crew; 59E59: I and You; Second Stage: The Happiest Song Plays Last; Signature Theatre: The Piano LessonThe First Breeze of Summer; Life Could Be A DreamThe Marvelous WonderettesThree Mo’ TenorsPygmalionHowie the RookieBrando.  Tours— Cheers, Live On StageA Christmas Story The Musical, Peter & The Starcatcher. Regional credits include Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, The Kennedy Center, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Two River Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Detroit Public Theater, Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Northlight Theatre, Signature Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Arsht Center, Musical Theatre West, San Jose Repertory, Center Repertory. michaelcarnahandesign.com Instagram: Carnypics Twitter: @mike_carnahan

Karen Perry (Costume Designer) previously designed Lives of ReasonYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest RoomThirdTrouble in Mind, and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black BottomJitneyTwo Trains Running and Seven Guitars at Two River. Recent credits include Cabin in the Sky (Encores!); The Happiest Song Plays Last (Second Stage); DreamgirlsClybourne ParkA Raisin in the Sun (Dallas Theater Center); stop. reset. and The Piano Lesson (Signature); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (dir. Phylicia Rashad, Mark Taper); the 10th Anniversary production of Crowns, written and dir. by Regina Taylor (Goodman); Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, dir. Sheldon Epps (Pasadena Playhouse); John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, dir. Ethan McSweeny (Arena); Regina Taylor’s Trinity River Plays, dir. McSweeny (Dallas Theater Center, Goodman); The Trip to Bountiful, Walter Mosley’s The Fall of Heaven, dir. Marion McClinton (Cincinnati Playhouse); The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell McCraney, dir. Tina Landau (The Public) and Landau and Robert O’Hara (McCarter); Things of Dry Hours by Naomi Wallace (NYTW); Having Our Say, written and dir. by Emily Mann (McCarter); and Resurrection by Daniel Beaty (Arena). She has designed eight of the 10 August Wilson plays including: Gem of the OceanThe Piano LessonKing Hedley IIRadio GolfTwo Trains Running, and Seven Guitars. Select film/TV credits include: Gregory Hines ShowSaturday Night Live, and The Brother from Another Planet by director John Sayles.

Kathy A. Perkins (Lighting Designer) made her Two River debut with Seven Guitars. She has designed both nationally and internationally including Switzerland and South Africa. In New York, she has designed for New Federal Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club. and in such venues as Carnegie Hall and Brooklyn Academy of Music. Regionally, Kathy has designed for Goodman Theatre, Arena Stage, Steppenwolf, Alliance Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Berkeley Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, St. Louis Black Repertory, American Conservatory Theater, Indiana Repertory, Seattle Repertory, Congo Square, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Writers Theatre and Playmakers Repertory Company. She is the editor/co-editor of six anthologies focusing on African/African Diaspora women. A graduate of Howard University and the Univ. of Michigan, Kathy is Professor Emerita of Theatre at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kay Richardson (Sound Designer) is a two-time Suzi Bass nominated Sound Designer and Audio Engineer. This production marks her Two River Theater debut. Regional theater designs include: Eclipsed at Synchronicity Theatre; Thurgood at Theatrical Outfit; Smart People; Fetch Clay, Make Man; and Gut Bucket Blues for Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA; Sister Act in Whitefish, MT; the Medora Musical in Medora, North Dakota; and Crowns in Savannah, GA. Other designs include A Man of No ImportanceSpring AwakeningThe Colored MuseumA Song for CorettaHoodoo Love, and Seven Guitars. As an Audio Engineer she’s toured with Jekyll & HydeRing of FireChurch Basement Ladies and The Honky Tonk Angels. At the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, MT she’s mixed Matilda the MusicalSmokey Joe’s CafeSingin’ in the RainThe Addams FamilySister ActBig RiverThe Who’s TommyLittle Shop of Horrors and Master Class. She has also toured in over 45 countries around the world mixing live for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines International. Kay is currently the Resident Sound Engineer at the Lewis Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ.

Erin Hicks (Wig Designer) grew up in Harlem, NY. She began styling hair as an assistant on The Winter’s Tale _at the New York Shakespeare Festival, starring Alfre Woodard, Mandy Patinkin, and Diane Venora. Over the last 20 years she has worked on various Broadway, film and TV shows. This is Erin’s fourth show at Two River, following _Guadalupe in the Guest Room and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Unkle Dave’s Fight-House (Fight Direction) UnkleDave’s Fight-House is a company of fight-directors founded by Dave Anzuelo. The core members of the team are Jesse Geguzis, Gerry Rodriguez, and Sean Griffin. Two River Theater credits: Be More Chill, SevenGuitars, A Raisin in the Sun, El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom. Broadway credits: Tuck Everlasting (Broadhurst); An American in Paris (Palace); Disgraced (Lyceum). Off-Broadway: Oedipus El Rey, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Public Theater); Downtown Race RiotSticks and Bones (New Group); Alligator (New Georges/Sol Project); And I And Silence (Signature); The Hill Town Plays (Rattlestick; Axis; Cherry Lane); To the Bone (Cherry Lane); Adoration of the Old Woman (Intar). National Tour: An American in Paris. Regional: Macbeth (Northern Stage); Oklahoma (Goodspeed); Disgraced(Goodman, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep).

Heidi Griffiths (Casting) has worked for more than 25 years at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in NYC, where she has cast over 200 productions Off-Broadway and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, including Shakespeare, new plays, and musicals. On Broadway: Sweat; Shuffle Along; The Crucible, Eclipsed; A Delicate BalanceA Raisin in the SunLucky GuyChinglishThe Motherf*ker with the HatThe Merchant of VeniceHairPassing StrangeCaroline, or ChangeTake Me Out (Tony Award, Best Play 2003); Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize, 2002); The Wild Party;Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da FunkOn the Town; and The Tempest. She also cast the films The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, MURDER and murderSaving Face and Ladybird. King Hedley II is her 10th collaboration with Two River Theater.

Kate Murray (Casting) Two River Theater: The Importance of Being EarnestThe Women of Padilla, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSeven GuitarsYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, and The School for Wives. Broadway (as Casting Associate): The CrucibleA View from the Bridge, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the SunLucky Guy _(Casting Assistant). Additional casting credits include work with Center Theater Group, The Cherry Lane, Bedlam, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, LAByrinth, New Georges, TheaterWorks Hartford, The Studio Theatre, and Throughline Artists._ Kate is a Casting Director at The Public Theater.

Laura Wilson (Production Stage Manager) Previously at TRT: Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSeven GuitarsYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like MineThird, No Place to Go._ Broadway: _Roman Holiday (OOT Tryout), JitneyAll The WayFirst DateA Free Man of ColorThe People in the Picture. Off-Broadway: Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre); School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC); Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company); Exit Strategy (Primary Stages); The Really Big OnceA Family of Perhaps Three (Target Margin Theater). Regional: Bull Durham (Alliance Theatre); Guys and Dolls (Riverside Theatre); The Three Sisters, The Boys from Syracuse, and Things of Dry Hours(Centerstage, Baltimore); Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle (Clarence Brown Theatre).

Final Chance to See Orlando Pabotoy’s Tour De Force Performance in Self- Penned SESAR

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of SESAR, written by and performed by Orlando Pabotoy in his playwrighting debut, ends limited run tonight.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Richard Feldman, SESAR began previews on October 20, opened October 24  and ends limited run tonight on Theatre Row at The Beckett (410 W 42nd St). Tickets to “SESAR,” are available through TODAYTIX. Check every morning at 10am.Or go to Telechargeoffers.com and use CODE TRMOCAPRE for 20% off during previews. Or TRMOCAREG for 20% off during the regular run.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT “SESAR”
Born to a Filipino father and American mother, Pabotoy grew up in Bohol, a province that is part of the cluster of islands in the Philippines known as the Visayas Region. When he was 15, while watching television, Orlando caught a show with Christopher Plummer delivering a speech from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” In SESAR, the teenager locks himself in the only family bathroom to dive head-first into the world of ancient Rome, determined to make sense of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. The boy’s father, a former town mayor now exiled because of his democratic beliefs, joins his son in the bathroom, and using his own experiences, teaches him real-life lessons about power, love, and loss.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

With Set and Costume Design by Junghyun Georgia Lee, Lighting Design by Oliver Wason, Sound Design by Fabian Obispo, Projection Design by Dan Scully and Rachael Gass as Production Stage Manager.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out what the critics have to say:

“…a moving solo show of personal memoir smartly written and performed with élan by Orlando Pabotoy. As a young Filipino boy seduced by Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, this play is the sweet and profound story of how that text bonded a son and father together during a time of political strife in Asia.” —Stage Left

“Director Richard Feldman and his production team build the atmosphere around him via vivid screen projections on the stark white walls of designer @jhgeorgialee Junghyun Georgia Lee’s set, quick blackouts that speed up time, then an extended blackout where it is easy to believe there are two actors on stage conversing. And yes, having staged a show entirely in a bathroom, Feldman could not resist an homage to the shower scene in Psycho.” –frontrowcenter.com

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

“Portraying both father and son, as well as a variety of other Shakespearean and contemporary characters, Pabotoy displays impressive linguistic and physical skills. He rails in pantomime against the winds of a hurricane, magically shrinks to boy-size then grows to manhood and back again. He speaks, or hypnotically whispers or sings, not only in modern and Shakespearean English, but also in Fijian and Visayan.”_Theatre Guide

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

“Musical interludes, crashing thunder and battle noises are adeptly depicted by sound designer Fabian Obispo. Oliver Wason’s striking lighting design veers from realism to fantasy with its fluctuations. Stylized footage of the Philippines, hurricanes, and news broadcasts are the chief features of Dan Scully’s mesmerizing projection design.

Filled with sentiment, Sesar is an uplifting and engaging experience.” THEATERSCENE

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

Orlando Pabotoy “ is sunshine after the rain. He ignites the stage –you can see this is his home and he radiates the inner glow of an artist born to tell stories that shake worlds and heal wounds and mend hearts. He is completely brilliant.” _Stage Biz

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Orlando Pabotoy debuts as a Playwright with Ma-Yi Theater Company. His recent work as playwright includes That Beautiful Laugh and an adaptation of Goldoni’s The World In the Moon. His recent work in devising and creation of new works were in collaborations with projects such as The Object Lesson (NYTW, BAM, various International Festivals) Home (BAM, various International Festivals) by Geoff Soebelle and Holoscenes – a site specific art piece that deals with the Trauma of flooding by Lars Jan. Orlando Pabotoy was recently a movement director for NAATCO’s Henry the VI by Shakespeare. His professional works in performance, direction and choreography has been seen in (selected venues): NAATCO, Ma-Yi Theater, The Public, NYTW, Yale Rep, Met Opera, Kirk Douglas, The Guthrie. American Airlines Theater, TFANA, The Lake Lucille Project. Salzburg Festival (Austria). Orlando Pabotoy is a faculty member at NYU Tisch School of The Arts, ITW (Amsterdam) and The Juilliard School. Awards: Obie Award (Magno Rubio with Ma-Yi), TCG Fox Fellowship Foundation.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Richard Feldman, Director, SESAR – Juilliard School of Drama – Specialty: Scene Study, Associate Director, Project Director
Richard Feldman was born in New York City and has directed productions including Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Three Sisters, Uncle Vanya, Rosmersholm, Fifth of July, Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, and Infinity’s House. He was formerly a teacher at H.B. Studio, is a founding member of the Vermont Ensemble Theater, and co-founder of the Dinosaur Theater. He attended Horace Mann School, holds a BA from Yale University, and did graduate studies at the American Conservatory Theater. Feldman joined the Drama Division faculty at Juilliard in 1987, became associate director in 2007, and has been acting director since 2016.

Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang

The Drama Desk, Obie Award and Lucille Lortel Award-winning Ma-Yi Theater Company’s 2018 – 2019 Season features all-new American plays by Asian American Playwrights. After a breakout season with the award-winning success of the musical KPOP, and with the closing of Mike Lew’s highly praised Teenage Dick – Ma-Yi is presenting the productions of Sesar & The Chinese Lady in repertory at Theatre Row. Click here for more information.

Ma-Yi Theater Company has the distinction of being a primary incubator of new Asian American theater and the largest collective of Asian-American playwrights in the world.

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Ma-Yi Presents World Premiere Of Orlando Pabotoy’s SESAR

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com